DEP provides Environmental Education opportunities to the local community via outreach activities and interpretive sites across the Reservation. Staff have created a number of water quality-based educational opportunities for the Tribal community and surrounding area, including an Indigenous science program for Tribal youth, and events like Swinomish Earth Day and the Annual Clam Bake as well as interpretive signs and trails.
Between Two Worlds Indigenous Science Program
About Between Two Worlds
Answering a need for Indigenous education for Swinomish youth, the Swinomish DEP developed Between Two Worlds (BTW) in 2019. The program is directed to create and implement Indigenous science curricula for 9th-12th grades at the La Conner High School.
How the Curriculum is Created
BTW instructors collaborate with scientists in the DEP as well as other contributors from the Swinomish tribal departments, community, and local environmental education organizations. The content is then shaped through a Swinomish cultural lens, considering our history, traditions, values, and ways of knowing.
High School Credits
This program is an accredited class available to any students registered at La Conner High School. Students are able to experience natural science topics relevant to the area such as hydrogeology, nearshore, water quality, air quality, salmon populations, restoration, habitat and ecoystems, and ethnobotany, while also being provided hands-on activities that give back to the community.
We've collaborated with many organizations and are always grateful for new and recurring contributions. Here's a few generous people we've worked with over the last few years:
Climate Change Workshop Series
In partnership with the Protect Mother Earth committee, the DEP held recurring climate change workshops for people to learn about climate change and what we can do to adapt and perservere. The workshops included case studies from around Swinomish and hands-on activities.
Participation at Recurring Events
The DEP is dedicated to protecting our mother earth every day of the year. But we also love to make a big event of it on Earth Day! The staff at the 13 Moons Community Garden organzies activities all over the reservation, such as trash clean ups, tree and traditional plant garden plantings, weed management, and much more! If you would like to contribute on this fun day, ask us how!
Annual Clam Bake
Continuing a favorite summer tradition, Community and Environmental Health hosts our tribe's annual clam bake. This is a communal event, full of seasonal foods such as salmon, berries, seaweed, corn, potatoes, and cooked clams. The DEP offers camas tastings, bringing this important traditional food to our community as part of our camas revitilization work. Additionally, the DEP participates in the Clam Bake through supporting recycling and composting efforts.
Skagit River Salmon Festival
The Skagit River Salmon Festival has strong connections to many organizations that are working towards similar outcomes. Each year, roughly 50 groups that are engaged with the conservation and preservation of natural and cultural resources in the Skagit watershed have been ivited to participate in the festival. Come visit our table!
Fidalgo Bay Day
Fidalgo Bay Day is hosted by the Skagit Marine Resource Committee (MRC). The event is a celebration of our local estuaries and the wonderful marine life. The event features educational exhibits, marine life touch tanks, and educational beach seining! We hope to see you there!
Our department attends and presents at many different conferences. Some recurring conferences we regularly attend include Storming the Sound and the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference.
Swinomish Marine Interpretive Center & Trail at Lone Tree Point
Our Interpretive Center on the Bay
Lone Tree Point is a location integral to Swinomish culture. It has been utilized since time immemorial, and everyone has stories of times spent here. Lone Tree Point provided summer homes for people who stayed from spring through late fall, harvesting both from the land and the sea. Communal activiies like beach seines and clam bakes sees most of the Swinomish community gathering and doing our favorite things: eating, sharing stories and work, laughing, and watching families grow.
Swinomish Marine Interpretive Center for Environmental Education
This building is a great option for outdoor education or classes on field trips. If you would like to use SMIC for your own class trip, please contact our Environmental Education Specialist (Jen Willup, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Books and Other Literary Resources
Sharing our Knowledge Book Series
- 13 Moons and How They Guide the Swinomish People
- 13 Moons Calendar
- 13 Moons Coloring Book
- Swinomish Totem Pole (Traditional stories & myths, and history of the Swinomish Totem Pole)
- Our Ways (Community environmental protection knowledge)
- Christmas Clams (story) & a history of Lone Tree Point